Terror threats to embassy in Kabul are real, says Krishna
India Tuesday said terror threats to its embassy in Kabul were real and the ''grim possibilities'' have been confirmed by its own intelligence inputs and those from Afghanistan and friendly countries already in action there.
“I did talk about the threat to our embassy and consular offices (in Kabul) recently. The threats are real and some of the attacks were successful, some others were thwarted.
We have lost many precious lives in Kabul because of these assaults,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said during an interaction with visiting journalists from eastern European nations here.
He said India has recently redesigned its chancery in Kabul “to protect ourselves” and the Afghan government supported its security efforts by providing round-the-clock vigil around the embassy.
The Indian embassy in Kabul came under a suicide bombing attack from terror groups in 2008, in which over 50 people were killed. Among them was a military attache and an IFS officer, who were later honoured with gallantry medals.
“Of late, there has not been any instance of attack. But threats are real and this has been pointed out by the intelligence agencies of India, Afghanistan and other friendly countries who are in action there. We are constantly reminding ourselves of the grim possibilities of terror threats,” he added.
Krishna also supported the peace efforts in the embattled country. It must be “given a chance”, he said and called for roping in groups that did not associate with any terror outfit, subscribed to the Afghan Constitution and believed in the legality of the present elected government under President Hamid Karzai.
“The peace process is going on and it must be given a chance. We should at least bring groups for talks under parameters such as those willing to disassociate with terrorist organsiations and who subscribe to the constitution of Afghanistan and believe in legality of the elected government of Afghanistan,” he said.
“The peace process has to be supported by every right thinking country. India is one such country. India will support all efforts at rebuilding the battered and shattered country,” Krishna added.
He said India, though not an immediate neighbour, has cultural and historic relations with Afghanistan and it continues to believe that it can play a useful role in Afghanistan by pledging $1.4 billion aid.
“There seems to be considerable appreciation for what India has been doing in Afghanistan. As a policy, we have not sent forces to Afghanistan and we do so only on the UN call for peacekeeping efforts."
“But what is happening in Afghanistan is sometimes very disturbing. The terrorist forces come in all shapes, sizes and names. There is an umbrella organisation that is sheltering outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terror organisations,” he added.
Hailing Hamid Karzai as “a strong leader, who believes in the rule of law,” Krishna said though some questioned the recent presidential polls in that country, it was necessary to take into account that a large number of people came out to vote in the elections despite a threat from Taliban.